Israeli Scientists Uncover Ancient Greek Inscription

(Courtesy of Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Scientists in Israel have unearthed a rare Greek-language mosaic dating from the 2nd-3rd century.

Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) were digging at Caesarea when they found the ancient inscription halfway between Tel Aviv and the port city of Haifa.

Although it has been damaged, scientists from Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology are working to translate the piece, which predates surrounding Byzantine remains by some 300 years.

The 3.5 x 8 meter mosaic depicts figures who are “all males, wear togas and apparently belonged to the upper class. The central figure is frontal and the two other face him on either side,” an IAA statement reads.

“Who are they? That depends on what the building was used for, which is not yet clear. If the mosaic was part of a mansion, the figures may have been the owners. If this was a public building, they might have represented the donors of the mosaic or members of the city council,” the organization added.

This latest find of Greek culture in the Middle East follows last month’s discovery of a 2,300-year-old image depicting the birth of the Greek goddess Athena at the remains of a Biblical site in e-Tell, just north of the Sea of Galilee.